23 April, 2012

Outback Adventure Part 2 - Woomera and Coober Pedy

Finally some photos to show you. I'll do it over several posts as there are heaps to show. We headed off on  Wednesday (28th March). Unfortunately, Noel was feeling quite sick but didn't really let on.

The first couple of days were spent mainly driving. We stopped at Murray Bridge on the first night and then onto Port Augusta. We then headed off to Coober Pedy.
On the way we stopped at Woomera. This is where they used to test the rockets and missiles years ago.

After about 2 hours of looking at the museum and having lunch, we came back to a flat battery! It was so hot and the fridge in the camper drained all the power trying to keep cold. We then learnt to disconnect the  power cable when stopping for any length of time. A lovely man from the Pimba roadhouse 6kms away came and jump started us. He was the manager and all the payment he wanted was for us to come and spend some money at the roadhouse. We had intended on fueling up there anyway and have some ice creams. So off we headed again.

As we were driving along, we noticed that the fuel range and the distance to Coober Pedy range were very different. In fact, the distance range was greater than the fuel range! I don't know if you can see it, but there is a "0" for the number of kms left in the tank. So about 6kms out of Coober Pedy, we ran out of fuel! We thought we had plenty but it turns out there was a slight incline to Coober. This means double the fuel is being used, especially towing.We should have topped up at that station 150km from Pimba!

Luckily, at the 10km to Coober Pedy mark, we came back into mobile phone range. Noel called the caravan park (it was the only number we had!) and George came out with 20 litres for us. In the mean time, Mitchell and Nelson had a kick of the footy (cars were far and few between). I think at that time, Austin was sitting on a chair in the shade behind the camper!

By the time we eventually got there and set up the camper, Noel was not feeling very well at all. We decided he needed to see a doctor. We were told to go the casualty at the hospital. It was certainly very different to going to casualty in a Melbourne hospital. We had to ring the bell and a lovely nurse let us in. She checked Noel and did all the obligatory paperwork and then called the doctor. It turns out he had a virus and there wasn't much he could do except have lots of fluids and paracetamol. We were in an out in 15 minutes! It was fortunate that we had booked for 3 nights at Coober, so it gave Noel time to rest and sleep a lot of it off.

So Noel and I got to do some extra sightseeing that many others never do - inside the Coober Pedy Hospital! These were the only hiccups on our trip so that was good. Traveling for over 6,000km, there could have been a lot worst go wrong.
Next stop - Coober Pedy, the Opal Capital of the World. We were in the outback now! That funny looking truck is called a "blower". It actually sucks the waste from underground and makes piles of dirt everywhere.
There is nothing pretty about Coober Pedy. It is very hot, dry and dusty but a very interesting place to visit. A lot of people live in underground houses as it is cooler.
This is inside the Catacomb Church. There were several underground churches.
This is the only green part of Coober. The local footy oval!
 Having fun in the Old Timer's Mine. We all had to wear hard hats!
Here the boys are "noodling". That is when you try to find any opals the miners may have missed. We bought a few pieces home that they found.
We went to this opal mine which was really great. We got to do lots of fun things.
Mitchell is metal devining, looking for the fault line. Not everyone can do this. All the boys and I could but not Noel!
 We got to have a ride on the shaft lift.
Outside of Coober Pedy is a place called "The Breakaways. The scenery was lovely.
It was also out here that we got to see "The Dog Fence". It is the longest fence in the world, about 5,300km (it used to be around 9,000km). This is to keep the dingoes out of sheep country.
Coober Pedy was a very interesting place to visit but I don't think I could ever live there! Stay tuned for Part 3! Next stop - Uluru!


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Not my kind of countryside - love my mts. and trees. When my kids were little we would visit the local diamond mind and you could dig in their 'old' mineral pits.

Michelle Ridgway said...

Your poor hubby...glad it all turned out in the end. I feel like I should be taking notes. Looking forward to Uluru.

shez said...

wow unreal and thankyou for the tour Christine and sorry Noel wasnt well.Great pics.xx

shez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
manda said...

I love opal!!! Lightning Ridge is the only place I've even come close to being around the stuff. But I've been Sapphire and gem hunting in Rubyvale.

Maria said...

Poor Noel not felling well.
Not good.
You did have some bad luck with the battery and fuel. We always fill right everywhere and also carry jerry cans.
Coober Peddy was a fun place for the boys to visit.

Michelle May said...

Glad your husband was ok, you got fuel and your adventure turned out ok.

Bente-I like to QuiltBlog said...

Hi christne,
thanks for sharing your adventure holiday with us, very interesting reading, and I´m glad that everything turns out well.
Looking forward to read the next part ☺
Liebe Grüße